Working with Kindergarteners can be a tough job. It is full of constant reminders. “Do this.” and “Don’t do that!” and “What should you be doing right now?”

At the beginning of the year my grade teaching partner and I decided to establish the rules and routines, but we did not set up a behavior chart like all of the grades above us, because we felt we would be punishing our kindies for… well, being kindies!

Now, the year is more than halfway done and my students have a solid understanding of our expectations, rules, and routines. Because of that, we felt comfortable putting up a behavior chart in each of our classrooms. My teaching partner decided to go with an Olympic theme one because we started it at the beginning of the Olympics and who doesn’t love, THE OLYMPICS (how many times can I say Olympics in one sentence).

This is what it looks like:

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There were two more after “Make Better Choices” and before “Parent Contact” but we took them out because we needed to make sure all of our students could reach the top of the chart to put their name (on the clip) up by themselves. At the end of the day if a student is at “Outstanding” we give them one of our school “Bear Paws” which is a piece of paper showing their parents that they were following our school rules, the students LOVE THESE. (Our mascot is a bear).

I have noticed that this behavior chart works REALLY well. The behavior chart is from the amazing and incredible TeachersPayTeachers and comes with the option of printing it out on colored paper or printing colored versions of the pictures on white paper.

After the day is over we e-mail parents when their child made it to “Outstanding” (parents LOVE it when you compliment their children!) and if they got down to “Parent Contact.” Once we implemented this the parent response has been extremely supportive.  Also, when the student comes back the next day they move their name back to green, “Ready to Learn” and start the day fresh. It’s a good reminder if they didn’t do so well the day before to do better, or if they did do well to keep up the good work!

What are some classroom management systems you set up in your classroom?

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Everyone has something to say. I just write it all down.

2 responses »

  1. Denise Krebs says:

    Hi, Melody,
    It’s been a while since I’ve been to your and Jee’s blog. The last time I was here, I was a junior high teacher. Now I am a Kindergarten teacher, so I read this post with great interest. I had always said we should let kindergarteners be kindergarteners. That one shouldn’t make them color in the lines or need a behavior management chart. But then I started teaching K this past January! Yikes! One of the first things I did was make a behavior chart–similar to yours.

    However, I learned a truckload from my experience this past semester and this post! In the fall, I need to do a much better job at teaching and practicing those routines and expectations those first weeks of school. Then maybe, like you, I will introduce the chart. Another change will be to let the children move their own clip. I think I made a mistake in doing the moving of the clips myself. “Ms, thank you; you moved me up.” When in reality, I wanted them to recognize that their behavior moved them up. Perhaps if they move the clip themselves, they will be more empowered to make good choices.

    I could use a little more advice on how to manage that, though. However, as I said, can you give me any additional info about what that looks like? Do you interrupt what’s going on to tell someone to move himself up? Do they ever decide if they should move up or down themselves? Do you have the Kinders moving other clips, and how did you manage that when it happened the first time to avoid it?

    Thanks so much for sharing your learning!

    Denise

    • melody says:

      Hello Denise!

      The student is the one who always moves their own clip. At the end of the day I leave the clip where it is at and the next day before the student sits down in their spot they move the clip back to “ready to learn.” The idea is to remind them what their day was like yesterday (whether is was good or bad) so they can do an even better job than the day before or just as well.

      There have been only a handful of times over the past four months when a student has moved another student’s clip. We talk about it and they realize why that is not okay. Sometimes student’s will want to know why another student got to move up. They love knowing everything about everyone and tattle-tailing (right?!). My response is always the same, and by now they know what I mean. I ask them if they are the other person, they say know. I ask them who they are responsible for, they say “me”. They are curious and it’s okay, but I have found this approach helps them not tattle as much.

      As far as when they student moves their name up… It varies. I very, very rarely have them do it during class. Unless they are being very disruptive. I love the times when the whole class did well and they all get to move their names up. I tend to do it during transition times. And in Kindy, you have a lot of transition times. When they come back from recess and have to move their name down because of something they did when I wasn’t there we talk about it.

      Introducing it in the middle of the year was really wise, I feel. I have a relationship with the students at this point, and they really understand that it’s not about them getting in trouble, but about praising them for making the right choices. It also increased the positive communication with parents. They LOVE getting e-mails about the behavior chart. And it makes having to e-mail them about “bad” behavior more easy.

      I hope that answered some of your questions! Let me know how it goes!

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